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Friday, November 20, 2020

Federal Court Enjoins Tucson Area Tax Preparer From Preparing Tax Returns

Preparer Included Claims for False Business Losses and Charitable Contributions on Client Returns

The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Arizona permanently enjoined a Tucson area tax return preparer from preparing federal income tax returns for others.

The civil complaint filed in the case alleged that Joseph Michael Vosberg included false business losses and charitable deductions on some of his clients’ returns. According to the complaint, Vosberg also allegedly instructed his clients to keep receipts from their day-to-day activities to document their false business expenses and charitable donations in the event of an IRS audit and not to cooperate with the IRS during civil audits. The complaint alleges that Vosberg’s fraudulent tax return preparation activities have caused significant harm to his customers, the United States, and the public at large.

Vosberg consented to the entry of a permanent injunction as part of his 2018 plea agreement with the United States in United States v Vosberg, CR 18-2527-RCC-EJM (D. Ariz.) (Dkt. No. 7). Under the terms of that agreement, Vosberg pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false federal income tax return. 

“Return preparer fraud is a significant drain on the U.S. Treasury, and the Justice Department is committed to working with the IRS to bring enforcement actions against return preparers who prepare fraudulent tax returns,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Zuckerman. “The Tax Division will use all available enforcement tools to hold dishonest return preparers accountable and protect the U.S. Treasury from further damage.”

Return preparer fraud is one of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams and taxpayers seeking a return preparer should remain vigilant. The IRS has information on its website for choosing a tax return preparer and has launched a free directory of federal tax preparers.

In the past decade, the Department of Justice Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department’s website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
Updated November 23, 2020